The solution to David Cameron's woman problem

Written by Total Politics has a free weekly Friday email bulletin. Follow this link to register. on 22 November 2011 in Diary
In an open letter of application to the prime minister, Felicity Parkes explains why her appointment as No 10's female special advisor would solve all of David Cameron's woman problems

Dear prime minister,

It has come to my attention that Downing Street is looking to hire a female special advisor whose role will be to view all policies through a woman's eyes.

Despite my opinion that this is a shallow and tokenistic idea, I would still like to take the opportunity to apply for this position as I haven't got a snowball's chance in hell of getting a pay rise out of IPSA anytime soon.

First and foremost, contrary to some speculation I am indeed a female and any agreement on my part to a gender verification test hinges solely on Downing Street's ability to get Dr Brian Cox to perform the examination. Let us not quibble over whether he is or is not a medical practitioner, but just agree that I can take my clothes in front of him.

Not only am I a proud, signed up member of the female race, I am also a dab hand in understanding my sisters-in-arms. For example: I am able to follow the conversations on Loose Women well enough to know that I can't stand the show, its presenters and everything that it stands for. I also have an account on Mumsnet. The fact that this was only set up so I could ask silly questions to Ed Miliband is neither here nor there.

I am sure you're of the belief that the perfect candidate for this job would be a mother and wife with a household to run and a wealth of experience in the real world. Since that's what everyone is expecting from you, might I suggest you go for a twenty-something singleton who can't be trusted with her flatmate's cat, let alone a child and whose idea of a weekly shop is buying both red and white wine from Waitrose. My reasoning behind this is thus: we both know this isn't going to be a real job. The special advisor is going to be as involved and necessary as a Tesco member of staff standing by the self service counter, picking their nose as only two in three items are scanned.

And besides, the female of the species wants the moon on a plate and doesn't want to have to ask for it. That 'moon' will be something different for each and every woman out there, so the idea of having a sole female advisor finding a way to make all policies pleasing to women everywhere is laughable.

If I were to fill this role my advice to you would be that half the battle is accepting that you can never win this battle. You're better off just doing what needs to be done to get growth in the economy, bringing down the deficit and eating a scotch egg.

So let me end on this – Downing Street is looking to waste money and time on a role that will have little impact on the lives of those it's meant to be aimed at in order to get a quick headline. I am willing to fill said role and to be paid far more than I am currently on and to be 'examined' by Dr Cox.

I am sure you will agree with me that this is a win win situation for us both and I look forward to hearing from you in the very near future to discuss my start date.

With hugs and kisses,

Felicity Parkes
Westminster Bag-Carrier

Tags: David Cameron, Downing Street, Felicity Parkes, Female special advisor, Gender Equality, Women

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